Richard Lanyon retired from his position as Executive Director of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago at the close of 2010, a position that he was appointed to in June 2006. As Executive Director, he directed the day-to-day operations of the MWRD, which included 2,100 employees and an annual budget of approximately $1 billion. Mr. Lanyon’s career at the MWRD spanned nearly 48 years. Before his appointment as Executive Director, he was Director of Research and Development for 7 years. Mr. Lanyon represented the MWRD on the Advisory Committee for the study of separation of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River watersheds sponsored by the Great Lakes Commission and the Great Lakes St. Lawrence River Cities Initiative.
As you may know, the MWRD is one of the largest wastewater collection and treatment agencies in the world, serving five million people in Cook County and the industrial equivalent of another four million people. The District also provides stormwater management and other related services to protect the environment.
Among his awards, Mr. Lanyon received the American Society of Civil Engineer’s National Government Civil Engineer of the Year Award in 1999 and Distinguished Alumnus of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in 2003. In May 2011 he received the Edward J. Cleary Award from the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA). He is also a past President of the Illinois Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and holds Bachelors and Masters of Civil Engineering degrees from the UIUC. He has been involved in a variety of technical activities for ASCE, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and NACWA.
He has served as the Chair of the Steering Committee of the National Biosolids Partnership, a collaboration of the USEPA, NACWA and WEF to further the beneficial reuse of biosolids, and is the past-Chair of the WEF Sustainability Community of Practice, an effort to enhance sustainable practices by industry and government to better protect the environment.
Mr. Lanyon served on the Evanston Public Library Board of Directors from 1984 through 1989 and one term as Alderman of the 8th Ward on the Evanston City Council from 1989 through 1993. In February 2011, Mr. Lanyon was appointed to the Evanston Utility Commission. He and his wife Marsha reside in Evanston and he continues to be an advocate for sensible and sustainable water management in the urban environment.